Bringing home your little bundle of joy for the first time is new, and exciting. It becomes a learning experience for you, and your spouse. The stress of feedings, and diaper changes around the clock are taxing. Adding to the fact that your body’s chemistry is completely off, this can sometimes lead to what is known as Postpartum Depression.
Many mothers experience what is called “the baby blues”. There are many symptoms shared between it, and postpartum. I remember with my first son, taking him to his one-week check up, and just having the tears roll down my cheeks. There was no reason, but no matter what I did, they would not stop. It was like the faucet was stuck on, and it was embarrassing. Eventually this ended, and I became myself again. The baby blues are not pleasant, but they are just a little taste of the woes of postpartum.
Postpartum depression is serious, and lasts much longer then the baby blues. It can come on suddenly after birth, or even months after. According to many online resources, these are the most common symptoms you could experience.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression
• Lost interest in your baby
• Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby
• Unconcerned about yourself
• No pleasure
• No energy
• Feeling guilty or worthless
• Weight gain/loss, appetite change
• Insomnia or fatigue
• Excessive suicide thoughts
If you are going through some of these, get help. Tell your significant other, a friend, or some other family member. The quicker you can get a grasp on this, the less damage you will do to yourself, your relationships, and most importantly, the relationship between yourself, and your infant. Babies need the love, and attention from their mommies; it is fundamental to their growth.
Things you can do at home to get on the right track are just to take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, and eating regularly. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help with housework, or even having someone come in to watch your baby while you do something relaxing on your own. Never keep your feelings to yourself. The more you can communicate to someone else, the better you will be able to understand it yourself.
If some of these home tips are not helping, always notify your doctor. They can recommend counseling, hormone therapy, and in some severe cases, antidepressants. Just remember, you are not alone in this fight. So many mothers out there have been through postpartum depression, and won. You will get through it, and will be much happier on the other side.